Ryan making his 2nd test start for Ireland vs France in 6N
03 Февраля 2018, 03:29 | Damon Campbell
Teenager fly-half Jalibert ready for France debut says Brunel
Kearney is one of seven Leinster players selected in the starting XV for Saturday's encounter at the Stade de France. The 21-year-old James Ryan will make his Six Nations debut and only his second start, linking up again with Iain Henderson in a youthful second row.
Ireland's first 2018 Six Nations squad have set off for Paris for Saturday's eagerly awaited opening Championship game against France.
IRELAND: Kearney, Earls, Henshaw, Aki, Stockdale, Sexton, Murray; Healy, Best, Furlong, Henderson, James Ryan, O'Mahony, van der Flier, Stander.
All carrying worldwide caps previously (Aki 2, Stockdale 4 & Ryan 4) Schmidt has put a lot of faith in all three stepping up from friendly tests to Championship level Rugby.
However, the Irish midfield pairing will have a Connacht feel as Aki partners Robbie Henshaw, reuniting the double act that led the Westerners to the Guinnes PRO12 title in 2016.
You grow up watching the Six Nations games and you hear the noise on the TV as a fan, but stepping into the arena as a player, it is totally different. "
"That's part of the balance and when you speak of World Cup's or sacrificing opportunity or risking results, I don't think they are mutually exclussive.
Ireland otherwise field an experienced side built around the halves pairing of Johnny Sexton and Conor Murray. "We just were a little bit under-prepared in the two weeks leading up to it".
Eddie Jones, the title-holders' Australian coach, said the Lions' gruelling drawn series in New Zealand a year ago partly explained the injury toll. There are probably going to be times when there are small setbacks, that's natural, but then it's about how people respond.
"I'm very happy that we're no good, useless, rubbish, considered the fifth best (above only Italy) in the competition".
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